Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


September 2015

Eighth Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan: In collaboration with The Global Organization of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), the Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA) organized the Annual Yaum-e-Azadi function on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at Arlington Central Library, VA. The guests were welcomed by Ms. Farzana Farooqi, AAA President, and Dr. Zafar Iqbal, GOPIO president, while the function was coordinated by Dr. Razi Raziuddin.
The well-known literary figure Dr. Moazzam Siddiqi in his brief remarks traced the birth of Urdu, which evolved from assimilation of Sanskrit, medieval Hindi, Turkish and Persian, and later served as the vehicle in which the popular verses of the 13th century poet Amir Khusro and 15th century mystic Kabir Das found expression. The second half of the event was devoted to Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan, which was presided over by the veteran poet, Dr. Satyapal Anand. A number of well-recognized Hindi and Urdu poets recited their verses which were enthusiastically applauded by the audience.
Qawwali and Light Music: A veritable feast, comprising Qawwali and light music, will be hosted by the AAA on Saturday, October 3, 2015, 7:30 pm, at Turkish-American Community Center, Lanham, MD. The musical entertainment will be provided by the Sunny Diwan Orchestra and Party. This will be their first performance in the Metro Washington area, and it promises to be a fun-filled evening. Click here to get more information.
Annual International Mushaira: The Association’s signature event, the annual international Mushaira, will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Gaithersburg High School. A galaxy of national and international poets is expected to participate (more details will be forthcoming).
Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner: The event will be held on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at the Argyle Country Club, Silver Spring, MD, and the keynote speaker will be Professor David Lelyveld, a noted scholar, with a research record on Aligarh movement. The topic of his address will be: “Making Room for Women at the Aligarh College and University.” An exciting program is being developed for the evening.
Congratulations from the AAA: The AAA would like to congratulate Drs. Aftab Ansari and Hashima Hasan, both long-standing members of the AAA, on the marriage of their son Sadiq Aziz Ansari with Ms.Jessica Leigh Landman on September 13, 2015, at the Wakefield Marriot Hotel. The Association wishes the newlywed couple a long and happy life.
Invitation from the Vice Chancellor of the AMU: Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd), in a letter addressed to the alumni, has invited them to attend the annual alumni get together scheduled on October 18-19, 2015, at AMU. The vice chancellor has indicated that they have a busy agenda and some very important issues to discuss at the meeting. They actively seek the views of and input from the former students. Information about the registration and lodging can be accessed from the AMU website. Letter from Vice Chancellor is posted on our website and can be access by clicking here.

Glimpses into the Past History of Aligarh
Reminiscences of Professor Aley Ahmad Suroor, Chairman, Department of Urdu:

“I arrived at Aligarh on December 1, 1955, to join the University’s Urdu department. Unfortunately, my arrival coincided with the visit of King Saud of Saudi Arabia, and I was told that there was no room available for me at the Old Boys’ Lodge. Dr. Zakir Husain, the vice chancellor, graciously offered to lodge me at his official residence. The entire campus, I noticed, was in a state of frenzy, as hectic preparations were going on for King Saud’s arrival just two days later.
A large gathering under a Shamiana welcomed the King in a colorful ceremony. Since it was a Friday, King Saud was requested and agreed to lead the Juma prayer at the University mosque. All conceivable arrangements, supervised personally by Dr. Zakir Husain, had been made to ensure that the prayers went seamlessly. A microphone had been placed by the Minber (pulpit) to amplify and project King Saud’s voice when he delivered his Khutaba. However, evidently some religious conservatives did not like it, and before the start of the prayers put the microphone aside, believing its use was a Bida (innovation in the religious practices).
They had a surprise in store. As the King got up to deliver the Khutaba, he noticed that the microphone had been moved away. Without hesitation, he picked it up and proceeded to use it. The result was that everyone in the audience was able to hear him clearly. No one dared to raise any objections at the time–he was a king as well a religious leader, revered by Indian Muslims. However, after he left, some people grumbled against the use of a modern device to facilitate the prayers.” (Translated and adapted from: Aap Beeti, Abhi Khoaab Baqi Hain, 1994)
Today, the use of the microphone has become universal in all religious ceremonies. What a difference time makes!
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                 Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Farzana Farooqi (President)                                                               Razi Raziuddin (Chairman)

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